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Coming Up Short

Working-class Adulthood In An Age Of Uncertainty

By Jennifer M Silva

What does it mean to grow up today as working-class young adults? How does the economic and social instability left in the wake of neoliberalism shape their identities, their understandings of the American Dream, and their futures?
Coming Up Short illuminates the transition to adulthood for working-class men and women. Moving away from easy labels such as the "Peter Pan generation," Jennifer Silva reveals the far bleaker picture of how the erosion of traditional markers of adulthood-marriage, a steady job, a house of one's own-has changed what it means to grow up as part of the post-industrial working class. Based on one hundred interviews with working-class people in two towns-Lowell, Massachusetts, and Richmond, Virginia-Silva sheds light on their experience of heightened economic insecurity, deepening inequality, and uncertainty about marriage and family. Silva argues that, for these men and women, coming of age means coming to terms with the absence of choice. As possibilities and hope contract, moving into adulthood has been re-defined as a process of personal struggle-an adult is no longer someone with a small home and a reliable car, but someone who has faced and overcome personal demons to reconstruct a transformed self. Indeed, rather than turn to politics to restore the traditional working class, this generation builds meaning and dignity through the struggle to exorcise the demons of familial abuse, mental health problems, addiction, or betrayal in past relationships. This dramatic and largely unnoticed shift reduces becoming an adult to solitary suffering, self-blame, and an endless seeking for signs of progress.
This powerfully written book focuses on those who are most vulnerable-young, working-class people, including African-Americans, women, and single parents-and reveals what, in very real terms, the demise of the social safety net means to their fragile hold on the American Dream.

Format

Book

Availability

1 available at Main (Downtown)
  • 305.56209 Sil, Nonfiction

Publish Date

2013

ISBN

9780199931460


Format: Book
Author: Silva, Jennifer M
Title: Coming up short : working-class adulthood in an age of uncertainty / Jennifer M. Silva.
Publisher Date: New York, NY : Oxford University Press, [2013]
Subject: Working class -- United States -- History -- 21st century. Working class -- United States -- Economic conditions -- 21st century. Working class -- United States -- Social life and customs.
Isbn: 9780199931460 0199931461
Current Holds: 0
System Items Available: 1
System Items Total: 1
Call Number: 305.56209 Sil
Oclc: 812781063
Upc:
Bib Id: 441897

Format: Book
Author: Silva, Jennifer M.
Title: Coming up short : working-class adulthood in an age of uncertainty / Jennifer M. Silva.
Publisher, Date: New York, NY : Oxford University Press, [2013]
Description: xii, 192 pages ; 25 cm
Subjects: Working class -- United States -- History -- 21st century.
Subjects: Working class -- United States -- Economic conditions -- 21st century.
Subjects: Working class -- United States -- Social life and customs.
Notes: Includes bibliographical references (pages 177-187) and index.
Contents: Coming of age in the risk society -- Prisoners of the present : obstacles on the road to adulthood -- Insecure intimacies : love, marriage, and family in the risk society -- Hardened selves : the remaking of the American working class -- Inhabiting the mood economy -- Conclusion: the hidden injuries of risk.
LCCN: 2012047890
ISBN: 9780199931460
ISBN: 0199931461
Requests: 0
Available Copies: 1
Total Copies: 1
Call Number: 305.56209 Sil